Today in Islamophobia

A daily list of headlines about Islamophobia
compiled by the Bridge Initiative

Each day, the Bridge Initiative aims to bring you the news you need to know about Islamophobia. This resource will be updated every weekday at approximately 11:00 AM EST.

Today in Islamophobia Newsletter

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23 Apr 2019

Today in IslamophobiaIn the aftermath of the Sri Lanka attacks, FOX fearmongers “holy war” and Australian senator Fraser Anning goes on anti- Muslim rant. An op-ed alleges that Saudi Arabia’s intolerance weakens its Islamic leadership, another stresses the importance of Muslim-Christian solidarity. Our recommended read of the day is by Caleb Elfenbein titled “The silencing of American Muslims.” This, and more, below:

United States

23 Apr 2019

Opinion | The silencing of American Muslims | Recommended Read

Her critics have used poisonous language against her, including dangerous tweets coming from our highest elected office. Law enforcement authorities have already charged one person with making threats to assault and kill Omar. Her office reports that more death threats arrive daily. This is a pressing concern. Without calling out the deeper problem that lies behind attacks of Omar, however, we run the risk of reducing the campaign against her to the particulars of her person and her situation. This would be a mistake. Her race and gender are surely significant factors motivating the vitriol being directed her way. Yet criticism of Omar, which seeks to publicly censure (and censor) her, also highlights an issue that applies to all American Muslims: anti-Muslim sentiment operates in a variety of ways to limit the public speech of American Muslims. read the complete article

Recommended read of the day
23 Apr 2019

These Trump Allies Are Preparing for a New Cold War With China

The conversation about China took a hard-right turn last month when nearly four dozen Trump allies, neoconservative thinkers, and scholars revived a Cold War–era group known as the Committee on the Present Danger to bring attention to what organizers callChina’s “existential and ideological threat to the United States and to the idea of freedom.” The geopolitical importance of China is a given, but two prominent members of this organization—Vice Chairman Frank Gaffney, the leader of a Washington think tank best known for promulgatinganti-Muslim conspiracy theories, and former Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon, who is back stateside after a failed months-long attempt to coordinate with Europe’s far-right political movements—suggest a motive that may be more personal than its promise to “educate and inform American citizens and policymakers.” These two men are not China experts but are links to both the Trump administration and populists worldwide. read the complete article

23 Apr 2019

Federal Agency Investigated San Diego Unified Over Anti-Muslim Bullying Incident

When Ismaeel Fadel looked up at the electronic board at the front of his advanced biology class, he saw someone had posted “Ish is a terrorist” next to emojis of a plane heading toward two buildings. Fadel, who is Muslim and Iraqi, said other James Madison High School students began to laugh at his expense. He told them the material displayed was not funny, but the same racist language and imagery evoking the Sept. 11 attacks was subsequently posted multiple times in place of where students usually listed their names. Fadel, who was then a 14-year-old freshman at the Clairemont school, said no one stepped in to stop what was taking place. read the complete article

23 Apr 2019

Fox & Friends fearmongers about holy war following Sri Lanka attacks

Following a string of tragic church bombings allegedly carried out by an Islamic militant group in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Fox & Friends began fearmongering about a “holy war” against Christians and lamenting the "desecration of religious sites" and threats to sites of worship leading people not to feel safe. But, notably, the program virtually ignored a recent series of church fires in Louisiana that affected historically Black churches. read the complete article


23 Apr 2019

Opinion | When Christians Are Under Attack, Muslims and the Left Need to Defend Them

From Christchurch, New Zealand, to Xinjiang, China, there is a war on Muslims. Many of us have spent years writing about it and condemning it. But let’s be clear: From the Middle East to parts of Asia and Africa, there is a war on Christians too. On Sunday, as Sri Lanka’s minority Christian community celebrated Easter, six suicide bombings struck churches and hotels across the country, killing at least 290 people and injuring more than 500 others. While no one has yet taken responsibility for the blasts, Sri Lankan officials are pointing the finger at a little-known local jihadi group called National Thowheed Jamath. To call these acts of violence heartless and barbaric would be an understatement. Nevertheless, they aren’t the first such Easter-related attacks on Christians. In Egypt, on Palm Sunday 2017, Islamic State suicide bombers murdered 45 people in two Coptic churches. In Pakistan, in 2016, a suicide bomber affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban targeted Christians celebrating Easter at a public park, killing 75 people. In Nigeria, on Easter Sunday 2012, a suicide bomber believed to be a member of Boko Haram targeted Christians outside a church, killing 38 people. read the complete article

23 Apr 2019

Opinion | Christianity under attack? Sri Lanka church bombings stoke far-right anger in the West

To some, it was further proof that Christians in many parts of the world are under attack. Several churches were targeted in Sunday’s bombing attacks, along with hotels and a banquet hall. At one Catholic church in Negombo, more than 100 people were killed. The attack took place on Easter, one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar. “My thoughts are once again with the persecuted Christians around the world,” Marine Le Pen, president of France’s far-right National Rally party, wrote in a tweet on Monday. Those who died on Sunday were “targeted for their faith,” she added. Le Pen, like some other European far-right leaders, had initially offered only vague condolences to victims of the bombings on Sunday. However, after Sri Lankan officials blamed a local Muslim militant group, National Thowheed Jamaath, for the attack on Monday, European far-right groups and activists began to describe the attacks in specifically religious terms. read the complete article


23 Apr 2019

Are Austrian politicians responsible for increased anti-Muslim hate crimes?

The Anti-Muslim Racism Report 2018 shows an increasing number of anti-Muslim incidents in Austria. The main target of these incidents were women. In 2017, a total of 309 incidents had been reported and in 2018, the number of reported events increased by 74 percent, which makes a total of 540 incidents. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and FPO Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache are taking part in this smear campaign against Islam and its followers. Their whole election campaign in 2017 was grounded in combatting “political Islam”, a term, which was not even defined or explained. read the complete article

Saudi Arabia

23 Apr 2019

Opinion | Saudi Arabia’s intolerance weakens its Islamic leadership

The use of Islam to justify the oppression of women, as well as the murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, underscore how Saudi Arabia is endangering its position as a leading Islamic country at a time of rising Islamophobia throughout the world. The state’s authority over religion has served to validate some of its most reprehensible political decisions. During the campaign to abolish the male guardianship system of 2016, the grand mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, described the calls to end the male guardianship system as a crime against Islam and an existential threat to Saudi society. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

23 Apr 2019

Sri Lanka Muslims Had Warned Officials About Group Behind Attack

Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, said he warned military intelligence officials about the group and its leaders about three years ago. On Monday afternoon, Sri Lanka’s government said National Thowheed Jamath was responsible for six suicide bombings at Christian churches and luxury hotels. “Targeting the non-Muslim community is something they encourage -- they say you have to kill them in the name of religion,” Ahamed said in a phone interview from Colombo on Monday. “I personally have gone and handed over all the documents three years ago, giving names and details of all these people. They have sat on it. That’s the tragedy.” read the complete article


23 Apr 2019

Germany’s far-right resurfaces Orientalist tropes for election campaign

Germany’s third-largest party, the far-right and anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD), is using an infamous orientalist painting to campaign in the upcoming European Parliament elections. On its Facebook page, the party which has previously called for “Islam-free schools”, posted a 19th century Orientalist painting of a naked European woman being inspected by Muslim-looking men wearing turbans and skull caps with the comment: “Definitely an eye-catcher.”At the bottom of the the painting, by French artist Jean-Leon Gerome, the woman’s private parts are covered by an AfD ribbon with a caption that reads: "So that Europe does not become 'Eurabia’...Europeans vote for the AfD!” The use of the term ‘Eurabia’ mimics the rhetoric of Islamophobic activists, including Norwegian terrorist, Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 civilians, mostly children and teenagers, in Norway in 2011. The term comes from a widely held conspiracy theory, which warns that there is a Marxist-Islamist "conspiracy against Europe", which aims to "mass import Muslims" into the continent, gradually changing its character from a secular Christian based civilisation to a theocratic Islamic one. Germany’s far-right argue that this current ‘invasion’ is a continuation of previous historic conflicts between Islam and Christendom. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 23 Apr 2019 Edition


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